Obstructive sleep apnea affects over 18 million people in the United States alone, but only a fraction of those people is treated. While it’s a very common disorder, it’s also potentially fatal since it hinders proper air circulation during sleep, according to the experts from Davissurgicalassociates.com.
What Happens When You Have Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea happens when the tissue in your throat’s back portion collapses and obstructs your airway. This reduces the delivery of oxygen to your organs, which include your brain and heart. Affected individuals typically snore excessively loud and stop breathing for short, but multiple periods while sleeping. This causes them to slightly wake up without them even knowing.
Apart from daytime sleepiness and excessive snoring, obstructive sleep apnea can likewise lead to irritability, headaches, depression, memory loss, impaired focus, and decreased libido. Affected individuals also have increased the risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.
How is Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treated?
If you’ve been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatment options:
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP
- Oral Appliance Therapy: This is recommended for those who don’t respond to CPAP and behavioral therapies.
- Upper Airway Surgical Procedures include:
- Maxillomandibular Advancement involving osteotomy — cutting bone through intraoral incisions.
- AIMO or Anterior Inferior Mandibular Osteotomy which involves an osteotomy of the chin bone for pulling the anterior neck and tongue muscles to stabilize and expand the airway at the back of the tongue.
- Soft Palate Surgery, which includes UPPP or Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty for trimming huge soft palate or Somnoplasty, also known as Radiofrequency Volumetric Tissue Reduction involving the use of energy, waves to decrease your tongue base and soft palate.
- Nasal Surgery such as Septoplasty for aligning deviated septum or Turbinate Reduction for reducing huge polyps or turbinates.
- Weight Loss Reduction Surgeries including Bariatric surgery or liposuction such as Smart Liposuction, which according to a Layton medical professional, aid in reducing the collapse of the airway at the back of the tongue.
- Tracheostomy, which involves an upper airway bypass procedure by making an opening in your windpipe or larynx.
These treatment options may be used in conjunction with other procedures depending on the severity of your condition. You may likewise be recommended to undergo behavioral therapies such as weight loss reduction, tobacco and alcohol avoidance, and changing your sleep positions.